Most of the people in my adult life know me as an avid trail runner. I can tell you that definitely wasn’t always the case. I never ran until college. It was my escape from an abusive relationship #metoo . Then in the Army I actually learned HOW to run and figured out I was good at it (at least in longer distances). It became my sport, my life, my identity.
I’ve always run for myself. I enjoy running and often don’t give a crap about how fast or slow or whatever. Yea sure I’ll work on my form if that means it hurts less. Yea recently I’ve decided playing with speed can be fun too. After college, after the Army, I wanted to start racing. In my mind, I’ve always been an ultra distance trail runner I just didn’t know that’s what it was called. I knew there were tons of road races, but I hate running roads. So I started obstacle racing because it was the closest thing to trail running I knew about in race form. To say I did well might be an understatement, placing second elite female in my first EVER race at the 2013 Spartan Military Sprint in Fort Carson, CO. I missed the podium and awards completely because I didn’t think I had even come close to pacing and went straight onto volunteering for the rest of the day, finally checking my results as we packed down the finish line.
Fast forward 3 years. I was working at then called Sierra Trading Post, primarily in the footwear department. I had maintained trail running crazy distances around my life and medical issues. All of this was solo, just exploring what I could find. My coworker head about this and decided he should introduce me to The Leadville Trail Series. He had raced the 50 mile mountain bike race the year prior and knew there was a run.
I had NEVER raced this distance (or anything on trails actually at this point).
So what did I do? I signed up. I trained – my style – exploring mountains 1x a week, running with my pup every day, before work, after work, carrying a ruck sack and trying to beat myself on a crappy fun loop, and well fastpacking 155 miles 2 weeks before the race. Because in my mind if I could do 155 miles alone, with a pack and my dog, the race could just be fun.
Leadville changed my life. I didn’t finish the race (in fact I have yet to finish any “official” trail race), but I made it half way, seeing the entire out and back course and successfully tearing hip flexors and my Achilles after a fall at mile 6. I was carried out of the medic tent and spent the next few days requiring my poles to walk around town before I made it to the doc who issued good old crutches.
But that’s not the point. Leadville is where it all became reality. I learned about this amazing community of ultra runners. It’s where I met my friends Sean, Jared, and Jen. It’s where I learned about Runner’s Roost Colorado (and they existed in more than 1 location) and got to step inside their team tent – causing me to have a new dream to be on a race team. It’s how I learned about run clubs and this stupid crazy fun sport we know as ultra running.
Shortly after Leadville I went into medical crisis. To top it off I was rear ended horribly about midway through this crisis. In January of 2017 I was sent home to starve to death…..
But you know what was hanging on my door…..my Leadville bib. See I was bib 100 – Lucky 100 – is what every other runner called me during the race. And maybe my race didn’t end well, but I still say it was lucky in a different way. After 3 days of being home, off ALL meds, I found the will to try and live. Three weeks later I had re-taught myself to walk and run and joined the Belmar Running Club out of Lakewood’s Runner’s Roost.
Fast forward another 3 years. I’ve met people like Anton Krupicka, Camille Herron, Courtney Dewaulter, and Claire Glallagher. I’ve volunteered at races more than I’ve raced, including becoming a course sweeper at the amazing Devil on the Divide Race. I’ve crewed and paced The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. I’ve left it all out there in Crested Butte in a whopping 5 miles (supposed to be 105k). I’ve done all this while working through my medical issues and becoming a mom to an autistic boy with many special needs (and also learning I’m autistic with ADHD).
I’m now officially a member of the RAD Rabbit race team, repping Rabbit – a pretty cool company out of CA founded by WOMEN. I blog and review gear, I teach women about being on trails, and I’ve been granted some pretty sweet deals by a lot of companies to make this happen.
This year – the oh so fun year of 2020 – was supposed to be my coming back to Leadville year. Unfortunately, like most races in the world, the entire Leadville Series has been cancelled.
So on July 11 – the day this year’s Silver Rush 50 Mile Run was supposed to take place – I will run 50 miles from my door. While as always #irunforme , on this day I will also run for Leadville #IRun4Leadville. Leadville is a beautiful mountain town nestled in the CO Rockies at 10,152 feet elevation. Like many mountain towns it depends on it’s tourist events and sporting events to provide income to the town, all of which are cancelled for the town for the year of 2020. I have a goal of raising $1000 to go to the Leadville Trail 100 Legacy Foundation. This foundation provides education options and opportunities for the people of Leadville and Lake County, CO which have been severely impacted by the cancellation of these events this summer. You can learn more about the foundation at: https://www.leadvilletrail100legacy.org/ and donate HERE.
As we get closer I will share my approximate route map and a link you can use to “live track” my progress. I will be using the #IRun4Leadville. My goals are:
- finish in 16 hours – the time needed for my 100 mile race that is still scheduled to happen in September
- finish in 14 hours – the standard cutoff time for Silver Rush
- finish in time for dinner – because food
Gear you’re guaranteed to see me in:
- Rabbit clothing
- Topo Athletic shoes
- Swiftwick Socks
- Suncloud Optics sunglasses
- UltrAspire vest
If you’re local and want to come cheer me on I’d love to see you out there with cowbells!